Internet access cut, social media banned during Uganda elections

Ugandan authorities should immediately cease all efforts to disrupt internet access in the country and allow the press to cover the country’s elections freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said . Yesterday, the Uganda Communications Commission, the country’s broadcasting and telecommunication regulator, ordered telecommunications providers to suspend internet services in the country until further notice, according to a statement posted on Facebook by one of the providers, Africell, a separate statement by another company, MTN Uganda, which CPJ reviewed, and a copy of a letter from the commission to Simbanet, which was posted on social media…Read more

Police beat, detain journalists covering opposition candidates ahead of Uganda elections

Ugandan security forces should stop harassing and attacking journalists, and should ensure that the press can freely cover the country’s upcoming elections, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Since December 11, security officers have assaulted at least 10 journalists covering opposition events ahead of the country’s January 14 presidential election, and briefly detained at least two members of the press and questioned them about their work, according to media reports and journalists who spoke with CPJ. “The unabated violence and hostility against journalists ahead of Uganda’s general election is shocking. Reporting on the opposition…Read more

Photographer Abul Kalam detained in Bangladesh after documenting refugee relocation

Bangladeshi authorities should immediately release photographer Abul Kalam and allow the press to freely cover refugee issues in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On December 28, authorities at the Kutupalong Registered Camp, a refugee camp in the southeastern city of Cox’s Bazar, detained Kalam after he photographed the government transfer of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char Island, according to news reports. Kalam was arrested in response to a complaint filed by Khalilur Rahman, an official at the camp, who alleged that Kalam was involved in violence in Rohingya refugee camps in…Read more

Journalists in Uganda face accreditation hurdles ahead of election, risk criminal sanction

Ugandan authorities should ensure that members of the press can freely cover the country’s national elections on January 14, the Committee to Protect Journalists have said. On December 10, the Media Council of Uganda, a statutory body, said that local and foreign journalists would be barred from covering electoral events if they failed to properly register with that body, and directed all foreign journalists in the country to renew their accreditations within a week, as CPJ documented at the time. On December 21, the council issued a statement giving a December 30 deadline for registration, and threatened…Read more

Ghana journalist Oheneba Boamah Bennie held for 2 days, charged over Facebook posts

Authorities in Ghana should immediately drop all charges against journalist Oheneba Boamah Bennie and allow him work freely, say the Committee to Protect Journalists. On December 14, Ghanaian police arrested Bennie, a host and commentator with the privately owned Power FM broadcaster, and detained him until he was released on bail on December 16, Bennie told CPJ over the phone. Authorities allege that videos Bennie posted to his personal Facebook page on December 9 and 10, in which he described Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Ado as anti-democratic, constituted violations of the country’s constitution, according to court documents…Read more

Sierra Leone journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo charged over police reporting

Sierra Leone authorities should immediately drop all charges against journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo and allow him to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists have said. On December 4, a magistrate court in the capital, Freetown, charged Kargbo with sharing “insulting” and “scurrilous” information via Facebook and WhatsApp about the country’s assistant inspector-general of police, which allegedly caused the official’s “annoyance,” according to Kargbo, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview, and a copy of the charge sheet, which CPJ reviewed. Authorities held Kargbo in the Pademba Road Prison for about two…Read more

Commonwealth Watch: Move to close vital studies unit infuriates academics around the world

Academics from around the world are protesting against an “irresponsible“ and  “counter-productive” proposal by the University of London to bring to an end work at one of the Commonwealth’s best respected and most valuable research units – the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS). It comes at a time when leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are demanding that historians remove the veils that cover hideous racial crimes against black people during the zenith of British imperialism in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Eighty -one leading academics put their names to…Read more

Crime reporter deliberately killed by speeding car in northeastern India

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the authorities in Assam, in northeastern India, to do everything possible to ensure that the murder of Parag Bhuyan – a journalist who was well known for covering different kinds of local criminal activity and who had recently received threats – does not go unpunished. A reporter for the Pratidin Time media group and the Axomiya Khabar newspaper, Parag Bhuyan was thrown more than six metres when a speeding car deliberately struck him outside his home in Tinsukia district, in Assam state, at around 8:10 p.m. on 11 November. He died of his injuries in…Read more

RSF calls for independent media group owner’s release in Pakistan

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Pakistan’s supreme court to order the immediate release of Jang media group owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, also known as MSR, who has been held on a spurious charge since March and whose release on bail has been refused twice by a court in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. The supreme court is due to hear his appeal against denial of bail next week. Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will complete his 240th day in a Lahore prison tomorrow because of a claim by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that a piece of…Read more

Maharashtra police arrest Republic TV anchor Arnab Goswami

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on authorities in the Indian state of Maharashtra to release Republic TV anchor and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami after he was arrested and ordered to be held for at least two weeks. Authorities are investigating allegations that Goswami abetted a suicide in May 2018, according to news reports. Yesterday, a local court in Alibaug, about 55 miles south of Mumbai, ordered him detained until November 18 while police investigate and decide whether to charge the journalist, according to news agency Press Trust of India. “Holding Arnab Goswami in prison while police conduct their…Read more